Thursday, April 11, 2019

Go spring skiing on last weekend at Bogus, Brundage or try Wilson Creek in the Owyhees

Cottonwood Creek jumped out of its banks and washed out Rocky Canyon Road.
ACHD is working to restore the road before the Race to Robie Creek next Saturday. 
Hi all,

With all the incessant rainy weather we've been having in the Boise Valley and beyond, I've been thinking that, hey, I can always recommend Ol' Rocky Reliable - my term for Rocky Canyon Road - as a good alternative for hiking, trail-running and mountain biking when the foothills trails are wet and muddy.

That's what Wendy and I did last Sunday to take our dog Huck on a short walk. If we'd gone up the road 3.5 miles, we would have run into a major washout on Rocky Canyon Road. Take a look at the video above ... ACHD is in the midst of working to repair the road today (Thursday, April 11), and so they have closed Rocky Canyon Road to public use to allow heavy equipment operators and engineers restore the road. The road is closed until repairs are completed. No time estimated has been given as yet.

The Race to Robie Creek is coming up next Saturday, April 20, so all of the walkers and trail-runners are surely itching to continue training for the "toughest half-marathon in the Northwest." This year's theme is the "Birth of the Wonder Toad." It's always a hoot!

So anyway, I can't even recommend Ol' Rocky Reliable this week. Fortunately, the weather is supposed to dry out on Friday, and Saturday looks like the best day of the weekend for a little outdoor exploration. High temperatures are forecast in the low 60s in the Boise Valley and full sun is expected all day. Really? Sunday looks like rain and crapola.

So here are my recommendations:

Pond-skimming at Bogus Basin (Courtesy Bogus Basin) 
1. Enjoy the last weekend of operations at Bogus Basin or Brundage Mountain and go spring skiing. High temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-40s with sunshine at Bogus on Saturday, and 40 degrees at Brundage with partial sunshine. Bring your own BBQ if you want for a little tailgate action!

Bogus Basin is hosting a pond-skimming event from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, and a Boxzilla event from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on Saturday, a raffle for a Morning Star 2-person classic chair on Saturday, and a  PBR Ribbon Hunt until Sunday, along with live music from High Pine Whiskey Yell. Bogus closes for the season after the ski day on Sunday.   

Brundage has a Gelande Quaff beer-catching and drinking event on Saturday, and the Dodgy Mountain Men are playing live music that day. Brundage closes on Sunday at the end of the ski day at 4:30 p.m.

Both mountains have plenty of snow for AT and Tele skiers who will be climbing for their runs in the coming weeks.
Harrison Hollow all-weather trail is a great choice in inclement weather. 
2. Go hiking, trail-running or biking on Boise Foothills trails if they dry out. Refer to the Ridge to Rivers Facebook page for the latest conditions and recommendations. I went hiking in the Harrison Hollow area last night with Huck, and the high winds dried out the trails amazingly quickly. Please tread lightly and don't damage the trails. If mud is sticking to your shoes or your bike tires, please turn around.

As an alternative, here's my post from March that recommended a number of excellent destinations with all-weather trails, including Eagle Island State Park, Hyatt Hidden Lakes, Harrison Hollow,

3. Go hiking or biking in the Wilson Creek area in the Owyhees on Saturday. The weather looks best for doing the Wilson Creek-Reynolds Creek hiking loop on Saturday. The loop is 7.5 miles, starting from the Wilson Creek Road trailhead, south of Nampa, on the south side of the Snake River.

Here are directions and a description to the hike: You take ID 45 south of Nampa toward Murphy. Cross the Snake River, turn right and head for Marsing. Watch for Wilson Creek Road on the left. Take Wilson Creek Road to the BLM trailhead for Trail #300 on the left side of the road. Park. The hike starts here.

Follow Trail #300 over to a junction with a dirt road. Go left on Road #410 and follow that over to the China Ditch Trail #600 in Reynolds Creek canyon. This is the best part of the hike. Go upcanyon on Trail #600 and enjoy the redrock canyon of Reynolds Creek. Good place for lunch. When the canyon opens up, you'll see a junction with Trail #510, which heads back over to the junction with Trail #400. Take that trail back to the parking lot.

Reynolds Creek canyon is a gorgeous spot, no matter if you're hiking or biking. 
Robie Creek Runners would enjoy doing that loop as a trail-run, and for more elevation, they could do the Wilson Creek Mini-Moab route that I pioneered with my mountain bike years ago for the Mountain Biking in Idaho guidebook. That loop is 15.6 miles. It's detailed in my Owyhee Canyonlands guidebook as well. You basically start at the lower Wilson Creek Trailhead and follow the main Wilson Creek BLM dirt road 6.5 miles uphill to a left-hand turn on a primitive road to the top shoulder of Wilson Peak, about 2,000 feet of vertical from the start. You follow the rocky primitive road around the east side of Wilson Peak and drop down to a valley that intersects Trail #400 and Trail #300 returning to the Wilson Creek Trailhead.
- SS

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